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Income inequality and sovereign default

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  • Jeon, Kiyoung
  • Kabukcuoglu, Zeynep

Abstract

In this paper, we study how income inequality matters for government borrowing and default decisions. We extend a standard endogenous sovereign debt default model to allow for heterogeneous agents and stochastic variability in the dispersion of income. We calibrate the model to match a number of stylized facts for Argentina. We show that (i) rising income inequality within a country increases the probability of default significantly; (ii) the effect of output shocks is larger than the effect of inequality shocks; (iii) the joint effect of these two shocks can generate a high default probability consistent with the Argentine data; (iv) the model can match the high volatility of consumption by the poor relative to the rich; and (v) more progressive income taxes lead to lower default risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeon, Kiyoung & Kabukcuoglu, Zeynep, 2018. "Income inequality and sovereign default," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 211-232.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:95:y:2018:i:c:p:211-232
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2018.08.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2018. "History Remembered: Optimal Sovereign Default on Domestic and External Debt," NBER Working Papers 25073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2016. "Distributional Incentives In An Equilibrium Model Of Domestic Sovereign Default," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-44, February.
    3. D’Erasmo, P. & Mendoza, E.G. & Zhang, J., 2016. "What is a Sustainable Public Debt?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2493-2597, Elsevier.
    4. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique Mendoza, 2011. "Optimal Domestic (and External) Sovereign Default," PIER Working Paper Archive 16-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Aug 2016.
    5. Andreasen, Eugenia & Sandleris, Guido & Van der Ghote, Alejandro, 2019. "The political economy of sovereign defaults," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 23-36.
    6. ANA CECILIA PARADA ROJAS & Humberto Ríos Bolívar & JORGE OMAR RAZO DE ANDA, 2019. "Mining Of Classification Trees To Analyze A Multidimensional Phenomenon," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 9010809, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    7. ANA CECILIA PARADA ROJAS & Humberto Ríos Bolívar & Jorge Omar Razo De Anda, 2019. "Mining Of Classification Trees To Analyze A Multidimensional Phenomenon," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 9110842, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign debt; Default; Income inequality; Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium

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